Snorkelling a secluded cove as the sun sets over warm golden ripples, coloured fish swarming the coral beds and glistening sea floor below, I realise why the locals describe the island as the ‘Last Paradise’. With over 15 beaches dotted around the island’s coastline, the hardest decision you’ll make each morning will be which patch of sand to claim for the day. Here’s a guide to the best beaches Lord Howe Island has to offer to help ease the stress of that daily decision.
Although it may be the closest beach to the ‘CBD’ of Lord Howe Island, it’s not rare to find this pristine stretch of sand completely empty and ready for exploring. I recommend you enjoy the serenity of the lagoon with a private picnic on the beach as the sun sets over the ocean.
Ned’s Beach is one of my favourite spots on the island and I often find myself visiting several times a day to witness the incredible underwater life and relax on the white sandy beach; one of the cleanest in Australia. The real attraction of the beach can be found by jumping in with your snorkel and heading out to the edge of the reef. You may catch a glimpse of a double header wrasse, clown-fish, turtles or even a small Galapagos shark.
Blinky Beach has arguably one of the best surf breaks in Australia, with crystal clear water and a pretty certain guarantee that you’ll have the waves all to yourself. There aren’t many things I love more than jumping in the water on a sunny afternoon to experience a bit of island life from a local’s perspective. For an amazing sunrise spot, there’s a sea cave hidden down the southern end of the beach which can be accessed at low tide for one of the coolest views on the island.
Old Settlement Beach
Old Settlement is a quiet beach tucked away at the Northern end of Lagoon rd, known locally as the best spot to swim with turtles. I recommend spending an afternoon here, snorkelling the sea grass beds and utilising the beach side BBQ to cook up a sunset feast you’ll never forget.
Only accessible via kayak, boat or an hour long hike, North Bay is one of the island’s secluded gems. Boasting incredible snorkelling and bird life as well as one of the island’s best views just a 15 minute hike up Mt Eliza, I highly recommend you make the effort to visit North Bay when you visit Lord Howe. Note that the track to Mt Eliza is closed from Sep-March for Sooty Tern nesting season.
Quite a change from the usual serene waters and golden sand of the island’s beaches, Middle Beach sits exposed on the windy Eastern side and features a rocky shoreline and frequently wild seas. It’s an incredible place to witness a stunning sunrise and combined with a visit to Clear Place, Middle Beach is definitely worth a look.
This little patch of golden sand has become my private hideaway on Lord Howe Island. Following a little track off the road leads you down to the grassy picnic area beneath two pine trees and then on to the sand. I’ve only ever had to share the beach on a couple of occasions, usually there’s just the thousands of fish beneath the water’s surface to keep you company. Absolute secluded bliss.
At the very Southern tip of the island, Little Island is a secluded stretch of coastline where volcanic cliffs reach into the sky from the waters edge and the sea makes music as large black boulders wash over each other along the shoreline. My favourite time to visit is during the late golden hours of the day, when rare Providence Petrels soar above the volcanic landscape, untouched for millions of years, as the sun sets out to sea.